The best outcomes for children with ADHD are associated with the use behavior therapy and medication management. According to Pediatrics, it is recommended that young children with ADHD receive behavioral interventions first, such as parent training in behavior management techniques. These treatments can be followed-up with medication if behavioral interventions are not successful. In my practice, I typically recommend that parents attempt to implement behavior treatments. If the difficulties associated with ADHD are moderate or severe I will recommend consultation with a pediatrician or psychiatrist for medication management considerations. There is some evidence showing benefits of medication for treating ADHD in young children, however it is unclear how medication affects the child’s brain.
Below are a few suggestions for managing difficulties associated with ADHD:
- Provide positive attention to the child
- Target performance goals and monitoring behavior by tracking progress
- Implement individualized home and school reinforcement programs
- Utilize non-physical punishment procedures such as time-out or response cost systems
It should be noted that some of these recommendations may be implemented at home without a professional. However, if the child’s difficulties are persistent and long-standing you will benefit from contacting a psychologist in your area who can help tailor treatment to you and your child. Additionally, teachers and parents may consult with a school psychologist at their local school who can assist with interventions in the classroom settings and developing appropriate educational accommodations.
Additional suggestions for parents:
Driven To Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood By: Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey
Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents By: Russell A. Barkley PhD
© Copyright 2012 Erlanger A. Turner